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Old 04-15-2010
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Hell Gate

realize many threads on this.. realize need to learn the tide books better but in need of some last minute advise.

have to go tomorrow from huntington harbor LI to 79st boat basin:

- from the reading need to be at hell gate at slack. tomorrow's max ebb at 2:47PM
- slack 1hr before/after?
- plan to hit hell gate btw 1:30-3:30?

huntington - hell gate approx 33NM, avg speed 5knt, 7hrs.

leave huntington 6:30 am
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Old 04-15-2010
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Not sure what you mean by "max ebb". I have seen that term used to refer to the strongest amount of current on an outgoing tide.
Slack current will be at about the time of high tide or low tide at any given location.
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Old 04-15-2010
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2010-04-16 12:03 PM EDT -0.03 knots Slack, Ebb Begins

2010-04-16 2:47 PM EDT -4.73 knots Max Ebb

2010-04-16 6:04 PM EDT 0.00 knots Slack, Flood Begins


You should go through at 12:03 or 6:04.

I would suggest that you have a 30 minute window either side.

BTW slack current and high tide do not necessarily correspond.
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Old 04-15-2010
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"2010-04-16 12:03 PM EDT -0.03 knots Slack, Ebb Begins"

Meaning that, in theory, the ebb current (southbound in NYC's Hellgate) will begin just after noon. You have to do some juggling and make some decisions about how you want to transit the HG and the East River itself and note there's limited clearance under the bridge in the east channel passing Roosevelt Island, and foul bottom in the holding areas marked as anchorages nearby.

Slack tends to be an hour long OR LESS, so if ebb begins at noon, and you are heading south, you might want to leave yourself some slack (no pun intended) by hitting the HG around 11AM and passing through at slack water, or with minimal current against you.

Once the ebb begins, you can use the current to get a speed boost running down the East River BUT the problem there is that current can hit six knots, and you've got no brakes, no way to slow down, if you have any problems en route. In the ER itself, you can find oddities like wind shifts through Manhattan that make sailing quite interesting (yes, sailing is legal there) and square standing waves 2-3 tall as the water bounces off the bottom in odd ways. So making a slower transit may not be a bad thing, if you have any doubts in the engine or are shorthanded.

You may also find there's quite a crowd coming through at slack, ranging from gasoline barges that have no vision OR brakes, to powerboats who really don't care about you being waked.

This is not to scare anyone, just to say you need to have your eyes open. One day a friend got stuck at the office and we couldn't make slack...and we spent the next three hours making about two hundred yards or progress against the current above the HG. But if you time it right and you know what to expect, it's a piece of cake, no scary monsters at all. Time it wrong and have the engine crap out...not so good.
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Old 04-15-2010
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If you have the Eldridge look at the current charts on page 129, the one that shows 2 hours after high water at 'The Battery'. That is when the current starts to flow back down the East River (SW) as shown in the current chart. That is when you want to be at Throggs Neck or City Island for your transit down the East River. There really isn't much of a slack tide in the East River so it is given in max knots of current.
So, on the 16th of April (tomorrow) the high tide at The Battery are listed at 10 AM on page 123 of my 2010 Eldridge manual which leads to the idea that by 1200 or so would be good for heading into the East River with a favoring current all the way down to The Battery. Be prepared to fight an adverse current in the Hudson the later you get to The Battery on your way to the 79th St boat basin.
It is also near a New Moon (4/14) so the tides will be a bit higher and lower, which means a bit more tidal current in the water.
If you can get to the Throgg's Neck Bridge close to 1230 hours you should have a fine ride.
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Old 04-16-2010
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up river

Remember you still have to get up the hudson to 79th st. Since the transit from say city Island to the battery should only take 2 hrs or so I would advice leaving a coulple of hours after slack so that when you turn north at the battery you won't have to fight the tide up river. I don't see the nessicity of hitting the hell gate at slack water, a couple of years ago I hit 13 knots going down the east river on my gps. the motor pushes the boat at 6 knots with no current. so take advantage of the current .
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Old 04-16-2010
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Low tide in Northport is 8:06 am on the 17th so you will be bucking a bit of current when you leave but should start to pick up some speed and make better than time
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